Lauren Krueger & Matthew David Brozik

Across this or that.

In Definally on December 20, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Daniel Z.W. of Philadelphia asks whether it’s correct to remark that someone has moved “across the country” if that person merely went from, say, Minnesota to New York. It is not correct, Dan.

“Across” means “from one side to the opposite side of” (something). In this case, (something) = the continental United States of America. One has moved “across the country” only when he or she has relocated from one coast (side) to the other coast.

But wait, you’re probably thinking, because you’re never satisfied, what about the other opposite sides of the country? The “top,” so to speak, and the “bottom”? The northern border (the one with Canadia) and the southern border (the one with Mexico)? A fair question, but no one would ever say that. No one would ever say, “She moved across the country… from Sweet Grass, Montana to El Paso, Texas.” But Definally. concedes, reluctantly, that one probably could say such a thing, if one knew such a person who had made such a move.

Regardless, it is an affront to all things right and good to say that one has moved across the country if one’s journey has not taken one from a Pacific State to an Atlantic one, or vice versa.

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  1. Interesting, but I’ve never heard of ANYONE moving to El Paso.

  2. I’ve moved across the country, across an ocean, and up and down coasts. That’s because we’re insane.

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